Helping our educators help our kids!
Since 2003, special educators in Marin County public schools have been eligible to apply for grants up to $2500 to puchase materials and equipment to improve access and learning opportunities for our students. Over the years we have put hundreds of computers, ipads, teaching materials and other innovations directly into classrooms, where they are being used by every special education student in Marin. When we began, there were very few operational computers in our classrooms and hardly any software being developed for our kids. Today, that situation has happily turned around, and our classrooms are well-equipped for the basics. Our students have computers, and the universe of technology and accessibility has been revolutionized. The "WOW Factor" on the horizon is staggeringly exciting for our kids.
We are looking to the future
In concert with a grand re-opening of the Technology Resource Center of Marin in Spring 2017, we are looking to also take this opportunity to increase our impact on our students through innovation and creating new opportunities. The world is coming up with incredible ways to help our students learn, and we are lucky to be in a position to identify promising interventions and put them in place, where we can see what happens. Often, something we identified as promising becomes mainstream because we have given it a chance.
This is very much what happened in 2010 with the release of the first iPads. DSE partnered with the Technology Resource Center to purchase 20 of them right off the bat. The effect was astonishing. The iPads quickly opened up new possibilities never before imagined for students with every sort of challenge. Speech, reading, writing, math, manipulation apps -- all captivated the students and took our classrooms by storm. The following year we purchased an additional 75 for distribution to classrooms. We've been purchasing them ever since. They are now mainstream in the best possible way.